IoD steps up efforts to build pipeline of women executives

In support of its goal of increasing the number of women in senior executive positions at British companies, the Institute of Directors announces today that it is partnering with the Women’s Executive Network (WXN) to support its UK launch. Founded in Canada in 1997, WXN’s mission is to provide development and networking opportunities aimed at helping women to achieve and retain leadership positions.

Large UK firms have made progress in appointing women directors, recently hitting the 25% target of female representation on FTSE 100 boards. However, the appointments have largely been to non-executive roles, and there are still only five female chief executives.

The IoD believes that the only sustainable solution is to build a pipeline of executives, which picks talented women out at an early stage in their career and propels them up to the very top. The Institute’s involvement with WXN will complement its existing efforts, including its annual Women in Business conference, which this year features speakers such as Margaret Mountford giving their insights on the challenges and successes they have experienced in business.

The expertise of WXN will be invaluable to the IoD as it looks to enable women to reach for senior executive positions, and help its members further their careers.

Lady Barbara Judge, who was appointed as the IoD’s first female chairman earlier this year, said:

“I am delighted that the IoD is partnering with WXN as they seek to bring their substantial experience of helping women to develop as leaders to the UK. Enabling more women to take up senior executive positions is one of my primary goals as IoD Chairman, a task which will be aided by this collaboration.”